Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: Re-resolved


Did you make any resolutions, Mr. Cope?

Nope. I'm still working on one I made for New Years in 1998. Maybe if I ever get that one done, I'll pick another to go after.

Are you saying you haven't made a resolution for 18 years?

Not a new one, no. But every year, I re-up on that same resolution, so I suppose you could say I am making one. I personally think of it more as... like... renewing a lease on a run-down apartment, see? It's a new lease, yeah. But on the same old dump.

So, other than that one thing you've been working on all this time... for 18 years... you're perfectly happy with the way you are?

Jeez, I didn't say that. But look here, Junior... what's the point of taking on any more resolutions until I show I'm capable of changing that one thing I'm most unhappy about?

Do you mind telling me what that resolution is? Er, was?

I'd rather not.

Why? Is it embarrassing?

Well yes, if you just have to know. It is a little embarrassing, and I'd rather keep it between me and me.

Then, is it like some sexual thing? Something you need to stop doing? Or maybe something you need to start doing?

Hey, nosey, I told you I'd rather not talk about it. And no, it's not no damn sexual thing.

That's a double negative, Mr. Cope. The way you said it would definitely make it a sexual thing. That's if I took your words literally.

Just take my word for it, Gilligan. It is not a sexual thing. Period. Now... next subject, if you please.

I'll tell you my biggest resolution if you tell me yours.

I don't give a crap what your biggest resolution is. And even if I did, I wouldn't tell you mine.

My biggest resolution is to get a place of my own this year and move out of mom's house. There. I said it. And it was hard to tell you because I'm embarrassed that I still live with my mom. But I feel better now that I've told you. And I bet you'd feel better if you told me your resolution, don't you think?

Lots of kids still live with their mom, so that's no big deal. What's to be embarrassed about, anyway? What are you? Twenty-two?... 23?

I'm 29.

Oh. Well... yeah. In that case, I guess I'd be a little embarrassed, too. Actually, I probably would have lied about my age if I were telling you what you just told me. In fact, I wouldn't have ever been stupid enough to tell you what you just told me in the first place.

So... see? If I can do it... if I can put my resolution out there in the open for you to stomp all over and make me feel like an idiot... then you ought to be able to tell me this resolution of yours that you're so embarrassed about.

Oooooh, For Christ's sake!

What if I promise not to tell anyone, Mr. Cope? Not a soul. It'll be between just you and me. I swear.

Oooooooooh ...

You'll feel so much better.


It'll be like huge weight off your shoulders, just wait and see.

Oh, OK goddammit! I give up! My resolution is... just as it's been for 18 years in a row... is to... to... to lose weight! There! Ya' happy now? I'm FAT! I don't like it. I'm embarrassed about it. And I want to do something about it. But I don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing I spend my days trying to eat lettuce with nothing on it but Mrs. Dash and to work up the gumption to get on a tread mill.

That's it? That's the whole thing? Your big resolution is that you're trying to lose weight?

Yes, Ginger. My resolution for 18 years is to lose weight. Because I'm fat.

I don't get it. Did you want to hide the fact that you are fat? Because if that's it, you might as well give up because everyone can see that you're fat. Or did you want to hide the fact that you're trying to lose weight? Which sure isn't anything for a fat person to be embarrassed about, Mr. Cope.

Did it cross your mind I just might be embarrassed that I'm still trying to lose weight? That after 18 years, I still have to make a New Year's resolution to lose the weight I didn't lose from last year's resolution? And the year before that? And the year before that?

Oh. Well. Yes. That is a little embarrassing, isn't it? You could almost say your resolution is a testament to your pathetic lack of will power, couldn't you?

Uh... yeah. I guess you could almost say that.

And that if you still have to make the same resolution year after year after year, it can only indicate you are an utter failure at controlling your own habits and compulsions and, ultimately, your own life.


And that after 18 years, you're just making a fool of yourself for even pretending that you're going to lose any more weight this year than you lost last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.


But don't worry, Mr. Cope. No one will ever know. I promise. This will remain your little secret. And mine, of course.

It'd better, Skipper. 'Cause if it doesn't... Oh, by the way, does mom still pack you a lunch, or can you put a sandwich together by yourself?